In an unusual move, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins ordered a barrier erected to keep the press away from court members, including Commissioner John Wiley Price.
No one could recall seeing press barriers in Commissioner’s Court before. Not even long-time County Commissioner Mike Cantrell.
Cantrell: We haven’t had them the entire time I’ve been here, which is 18 years. But there are special circumstances now with Commissioner Price and the deal he’s going through. I still believe the press ought to have access to the court members.
Reporters usually approach Commissioners after a break, to ask questions about the court’s actions or proposed policies. This time, Commissioner John Wiley Price – who almost always talks - was the focus. But owing to the physical barriers, Price left and answered no questions. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he wanted to make Commissioners could do their job unimpeded.
Jenkins: I will take reasonable steps to ensure that we have order in the courts and that people are allowed to get their business done. From the time the public arrives until the time we adjourn, we’ll maintain some control in the court.
Jenkins said the physical barriers may reappear or even become permanent in the future. There’s no policy in place. Price, who participated in standard Court business Tuesday, did not respond to press questions.